Turn a love of nature into a career to preserve it

Student stands outside holding a bug in a jar and examines it with the sun shining behind them

The Environmental Biology: Wildlife, Plant, and Ecological Science major combines coursework in fundamental biology with specific field and laboratory applications to give you the educational background required to enter natural resource and wildlife management fields.

You can concentrate your studies in one of three areas: Botany, Ecology & Field Biology, and Wildlife Biology. Each concentration prepares you for a rewarding and exciting career working to understand and preserve the diversity of life on our planet.

We've designed each concentration to give you the educational requirements for entry into state, federal, and tribal government and conservation agencies.

Aubanie Dubacher, Biology major '23

"Integration of theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on work through a diverse array of classroom, field, and laboratory experiences has given me the skills needed for a future career in botany."


  • About this major
  • Curriculum
About this major

This major will prepare you to meet the requirements to become an Associate Ecologist with the Ecological Society of America; all you must do is apply on your own. Your advisor can also recommend additional classes that, if you take them, will certify you as an Associate Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society.
The Biology Department offers a 16 credit Plant Identification & Assessment certificate to compliment this degree.


Students will participate in experiential learning opportunities, including field trips, laboratory exercises, and guest speakers from local agencies like the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Students also have the opportunity to participate in summer natural history courses in botany and zoology that take advantage of our spectacular local environment and are 100% field-based.
The coursework is also multidisciplinary, including geology and geographic information systems, and all students complete their degree with a full-year, research-based capstone project. Past students' research has investigated the fire ecology of the 416 Fire in conjunction with Colorado Parks & Wildlife and the US Forest Service, focused on rare plant conservation with Mesa Verde National Park, investigated the effects of wild horses in riparian ecosystems of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and many others.

In addition, you can become involved in related clubs like the SEEDS Ecology Club and the FLC Bee Club and gain experience through work with our departmental resources, including the greenhouse, herbarium, and animal care facility.

What can you do with a Biology degree?

Your opportunities for independent, original research with direct faculty mentorship put you way out front of the competition, whether you're looking at graduate school, working in a lab, or in the field.